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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  September 25, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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all this alleged talk of the secret facility come less than a week before the u.s. and five other countries are holding diplomatic talks with iran. mahmoud ahmadinejad said these allegations are not a good way to start those negotiations. and secretary of state hillary clinton said these talks are now more important than ever. >> we remain committed to the october 1 meeting of the p-5 plus one. the nuclear program was on the table before. it is on the table with increased urgency now. >> ambassador wendy sherman served at the state department. she was also special adviser to president clinton and she currently serves as vice chair of the stone group. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> let me get your reaction to this. these trauks still on but certainly the dynamics have changed. >> i can certainly understand why ahmadinejad is upset and frustrated with the situation. because he's been called out on the eve of what are very, very
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important negotiations from his perspective, but even more important negotiations for peace and security in the world. the president, along with other international leaders today really put on the table that iran is moving forward with its nuclear weapons program. certainly sites that make us quite concerned. so that has put even more weight on these upcoming talks on october 1. >> let me ask you, what does calling out iran at this point do for the talks? you heard ahmadinejad say this is no way to start negotiations. we know intelligence has shown us his facility was there. i want to know specifically, does this put his feet, or iran's feet to the fire? >> i think this absolutely puts iran's feet to the fire. i think they let the international atomic agency know about this on monday because they knew that the u.s. and the other powers were going to put
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the site on the map for the world community in their remarks today, so they were trying to jump the gun and control the message. but in fact, i think today's statement by the preand then the secretary of state is quite right. this is an even more urgent situation. we have got to get serious dialogue going, and as secretary clinton has said, this is dual track negotiations and engagement which is serious and real on our part and we hope will be serious and real on iran's part. on the other hand, pressure, sanctions, probably more to come if iran does not take really concerted action here to close down their nuclear weapons ambitions. >> ambassador, moderator of "meet the press" david gregory just sat down with bill clinton and asked him about the developments regarding iran. i want to play that exchange and get your thoughts on the other side. >> is this a moment where the
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president says to iran, we gotcha. now it's time to respond. >> i think that's what they wanted to communicate. i think the reason they want to have talks, if they have talks and they don't just hurl assaults in the press about it, they can more explicitly lay out things they may not be prepared to say in public yet about what the options are if iran continues down this path. and they can also talk about where we might go together if they reverse course. so i always think it is a good idea if possible to look somebody in the eye and have a chance to have a conversation before there is a total breach. but i think this is actually healthy that this is broken. the iranians must have known that the americans knew.
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somehow they must have found out that or they wouldn't have voluntarily notified the iaea about this. >> what is your reaction to former president clinton on just talking shortly with david gregory in. >> i think president clinton has assessed the situation exactly right. there are two paths for iran. paths toward peace and security by getting rid of their nuclear weapons ambitions, or a path of continued pressure, sanctions, really being isolated from the world community. all options are facing iran, and the choice is really theirs. so i think having this out in public view is important. everyone knows what the stakes are. iran knows what the stakes are. so hopefully, they'll choose to get down to business. >> ambassador wendy sherman, thank you for your time. certainly appreciate it. you can see more of david gregory's exclusive interview this sun on "meet the press." in about 30 minutes, a reminder. we'll hear from president obama. he is expected to talk about
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iran from the g-20 summit in pittsburgh. we'll have that live right here on msnbc. our coverage will be anchored by ed schultz of "the ed show." intriguing comments from former president bill clinton. >> i think they're excellent comments. what he hit the nail on the head, he showed what talks can bring to the table as opposed to what we do, the discussion and the benefits put out by leaders around the world. whether it is our president, gordon brown, nicolas sarkozy. here's what you know could happen if you reverse course. here's what could possibly happen too. and hopefully appeal to some sense of logic there. new developments at the terror front at this hour. authorities say najibullah zazi plotted to attack and maybe even to set one off on the anniversary of 9/11. he said the evidence suggests a chilling,er disturbing sequence
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of events showing the defendant was intent on making a bomb and being in new york on 9/11 for the purpose of perhaps using such items. zazi was set up in a denver suburb, scouring the web and visiting beauty supply stores in the hunt for items to build bombs for al qaeda. pete williams joins us from washington. with a good afternoon to you, what is the status? he is literally en route at this time? >> yes. he is on his way from denver where authorities today dismissed the charges against him of lying to the fish. now the remaining charges are much more serious. terrorism charges choch could bring a sentence of life in bring. he will face a hearing in brooklyn on those charges and i'm sure they will continue to hole him here penning his trial which will, of course, come many months from now. it is not clear, frankly, if i can go back to what you said a moment ago. what the government meant when it said that today in court.
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i've always been told that authorities do not believe either what the target was or when it was going to happen. and there is some reason to believe that perhaps the prosecutor got a little carried away there. the events are certainly true. he certainly did as you see in the surveillance video, buy the chemicals, try to make a bomb. we've been told that he didn't succeed in doing it. but no explosives were found in his car when they searched it after he had gotten to new york. he wasn't carrying the precursor chemicals with him. but if you go back and look at the elements of what he said in his statement, yes, he was intent on making a bomb. yes, he was intent on being in new york on 9/11. he was in new york on 9/11. he left the denver area a couple days before and got there then. but i don't believe they know yet what the timing was or what the plot was or what the target was. so i think perhaps that was a little bit of a prosecutorial zealousness to make the point that he remains a danger and
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should not be released on bail. and of course, the government has prevail on that point. >> to your point, pete, i'm backtracking. i remember reporting last weekend and speaking with the kusa reporter who had spoken to zazi of the journalism crowd. that was tuesday. if i'm doing my math, that would have been the 15th. so he spoke to them. whether something was specifically disrupted for 9/11, it does seem somewhat hard to prove because he had yet to be in federal custody. he had yet to even start being questioned if it is my understanding by authorities at that point. >> well, he was in denver on 9/11. that much we know. he was to return his rented car on september 14th. he ended up leaving before that and flying back to denver after his car was towed away for a parking violation. so he flew back. i think it is safe to say they don't know why he was in new
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york then. the government hass told us he tried to build a bomb in new york just before 9/11. didn't succeed in doing it. he went to queens where he stayed overnight. best left denver, tried to research on the internet places where he could continue to buy some of the chemicals. what he intended to do in new york, i don't think is entirely clear. >> nbc news correspondent pete williams in washington. thanks so much. a lot learned about that. it is interesting, the surveillance tape we showed you. we spoke with the owner of that beauty salon. 48 cameras capturing all angles and no one in that store immediately thought something was wrong by those purchases until they were contacted by the fbi. as we said, last monday. interesting. 38 cameras surrounding that whole event, watching part of it at least go down. >> absolutely. >> coming up, the growing miss terrorism surrounding the death of a census worker. was anti-government hate involved? or was it a case of suicide?
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also, democrats get their 60th vote in the u.s. senate. how will senator paul kirk shape the fight over health care reform? and of course, we have president obama coming up live in a news conference about a half-hour away from now. ed schultz will be up to anchor that live coverage. you were right. these healthy choice fresh mixer thingys, they taste fresh... say it again! they taste fresh. wait. what are you doing? got it. you're secretly taping me? cook it fresh, strain it fresh, mix it fresh, healthy choice fresh mixers, look for it in the soup or pasta aisle. being times like these, there is a light beginning to shine again. it comes from a restaurant downtown. a shop on main street. a factory around the corner. entrepreneurs like these are the most powerful force in the economy. the reinvention of business begins with them. and while we're sure we don't know all the answers, we do know one thing for certain: we want to help.
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welcome back. new details in the mysterious death of a census worker found in kentucky. >> police are saying that 51-year-old bill sparkman died of asphyxiation.
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his body was found in clay county on september 12. he was found hanging from a tree with a rope around his neck and the word "fed" scrawled on his chest. the agency is taking necessary precautions. >> we've suspended activity in that county. and notified our client agencies that we've done so, until we figure out what's happening. this is a very complicated matter. it isn't clear what happened. but prudence tell us that we should stop for a bit for the protection of our staff. >> and ron mott joins us from kentucky. >> police here in kentucky continue to be baffled by the death of 51-year-old bill sparkman, a part time u.s. census worker whose body was found september 12 hanging from a tree in the daniel boone national forest. police in the two weeks since have only been able to confirm
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the cause of death, asphyxiation, but they have not been toward classify this death, saying it can be one of three things. a homicide, suicide, or an accident. authorities are not confirming any of the details that have been publicly reported here in the local press, saying that his hands and feet were bound, and that the word "fed" was sprawl or written on the man's chest. police are waiting for the toxicology results themselves should be back in a week or two. but until such time as they are, the police are baffled. >> all right. ron mott, thank you for that. still ahead, president obama's news conference from the g-20 conference. and we'll have it anchored by our very own ed schultz. ♪ every day you're put to the test. that's why secret created clinical strength... with odor-absorbing capsules... and prescription strength wetness protection. so effective it stops wetness better than the leading invisible solid.
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tdd# 1-800-345-2550 when my broker said, "i make money when you make money," tdd# 1-800-345-2550 he neglected to mention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 he also makes money when i lose money, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 withdraw money or do nothing with my money. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 welcome bachblg democrats once again have 60 seats in the u.s. senate. that is correct.
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paul kirk was sworn in as the junior senator from massachusetts. it happened just a short time ago. >> do you take this obligation freely without any mental obligation? that you will fatefully discharge the duties on the office on which you were about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> just yesterday, kirk was appointed by governor deval patrick as a temporary replace many for the late senator ted kennedy. a special election will be held in january and of course, democrats are certainly happy to see the 60 again. it could certainly make thing easier when voting on health care legislation. and we put easy in quotes there. kelly o'donnell is the capitol hill correspondent. another day and we're still waiting. and yet another day that public option has come up and it may be back in the conversation and on the table. >> well, that's certainly one of the things that democrats, especially the more liberal
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democrats want to revive. a government run insurance plan. and having 60 seats in the senate is important for democrats to try to block any procedural attempts by republicans to slow things down or to sort of interrupt the ability to get something passed. that number is important. some of the atmospherics here, you saw the official swearing in just a moment ago. that is always follow by what they call a ceremonial re-enactment in the old senate chamber. i was just there and right back to get to this position. that allows for cameras to be on the floor, to get photos and for members of the family to gather around the new senator, senator kirk. and the kennedy family was. there victoria kennedy, the widow of edward kennedy sxrg his three children, ted jr., and patrick. and there is definitely still that sense of their being continuity between kennedy to now kirk. all of the staff will remain working for this new senator. and on the hill, that's an important factor because a staff does so much of what a member of
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congress is able to accomplish, and in health care, that has always been the domain of the office of edward kennedy. so that's important. the number is big and certainly, there is a sense of kind of moving forward. it was just one month ago today that edward kennedy lost his battle with cancer. >> the process of moving forward, kelly, where are we with the max baucus proposal and the 500 plus amendments they were working through? >> it has been a bit of a tedious exercise over these last few days. ? there has been a bit of eye glazing. there has been a lot of substantive debate. they have called off their talks for the long weekend because of the jewish holiday on monday. they'll be back tuesday morning and going at these issues again. the public option we mentioned a moment ago will be talked about. there are many amendment that's deal with that. a whole range of issues, still sharp divisions between republicans and democrats. it is expected there will be several more days to get through that work and then once the
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finance committee settles on its bill, it goes to the full senate. and there are new steps that we'll be talking about thechbl it is an important time but we have a long way to go. >> i'm curious, have there been any discussion whatsoever of paul kirk considering extending this temporary appointment into something more permanent and running for the election? at this point, we know the ag, she seems to be a front-runner early in the game. any speculation on that? >> well, we can deal with that. paul kirk as kind of a condition of edward kennedy, list wish was that whoever would fill in as a caretaker would not seek the elective office to fill the remaining three years have kennedy's terms. so kirk has said publicly, he will not be a candidate. he will simply step in until january when the special election is held. and that really helped politically because there was great concern about simply the governor having the power to replace someone for a longer
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period. voters in massachusetts will be able to decide. and as you mentioned the attorney general there is one of the front-runners. and there has been a lot of talk about how some of the biggest names have chosen so far not to enter the race. that's some of the most prominent members of the house and certainly members of the kennedy family have stepped aside and said they are not going to seek to replace edward kennedy. >> i'm just wondering because we have mayor bloomberg in new york who was supposed to leave after the term limits and he is going for it again. >> i think the difference is the close personal friendship of kirk and kennedy and it that makes it different in this circumstance. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. certainly going on today, the president now dealing with a great international issues. but the weight of the health care debate domestically is certainly still waiting. just ahead, ed schultz will anchor our live coverage of president obama's coverage in pittsburgh. the president will face lots of questions about iran's nuclear
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this is your cnbc market wrap. stocks ending lower on wall street day. the dow losing 42 points. the s&p 500 falling six points. the nasdaq dropping 16 points. oil prices rose for the first time in two days as tensions escalated over iran's nuclear ambitions. oil was up 13 cents, settling upabove $66 a barrel. new numbers show the housing market remains fragile. the commerce department says new home sales inched up .7 percent to 429,000. analysts expected that to be higher at 440,000. and ford says it will invest $490 million to build an assembly plant in china. a plant will ramp up production on the next generation focus compact car.
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all in an effort to capture the booming auto market in china and t the asia pacific region. now back to msnbc. good afternoon, americans. i'm ed schultz. this afternoon, president obama is about to hold a news conference at the g-20 summit in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. he is sure to be asked about today's revelation that iran has been building a second nuclear plant for enriching uranium. and hiding it from the world. president obama has some harsh words for the iranian regime earlier today. >> iran must be prepared to cooperate fully and comprehensively with the iaea to take concrete step to create confidence and transparency in its nuclear program, and to demonstrate that it is committed to establishing its peaceful
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intentions through meaningful dialogue and concrete actions. >> iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad told "time" magazine his country is not keeping secrets. >> translator: it is definitively a mistake. we have no secrecy. and we work within the framework of the iaea. this does not mean anything was done secretly. it just doesn't mean that we must inform mr. obama's administration of every facility that we have. >> meanwhile, french president sarkozy has said iran has until december to comply or face new international sanctions. this is the tehran bureau chief for nbc news and joins us live from tehran this afternoon. what has been the reaction from the iranian people to all of this news coming out of the g-20
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today? >> the reaction from iran is outrage at the statements that are being made by the p-5 plus one. they're saying they are trying to stack the table against them before the meeting in geneva on october 1st and this is all a psychological game to gain the upper hand against iran them insist their nuclear program is a peaceful one and there has been nothing clandestine themselves say they've been an open book. but the p-5 plus one don't seem to believe them. >> what kind of response have the iranian people had, that the president of france has said, if they don't come play, that there will be new sanctions and they threw out a deadline for december houfl is that being received? >> generally, the iranian people are worried about sanctions. although president mahmoud ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that sanctions won't affect the country, it will affect the country. it will hike up gas prices and gas prices have an effect on everything, from everyday
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commodities to cucumbers, rice, the price of everything will go up making the life of the grassroots people here much harder. so people on the streets are definitely worried about sanction. >> do you get a sense from the iranian people that mahmoud ahmadinejad is getting support with his response back to president obama and also, the prime minister of great britain and the french president? that mahmoud ahmadinejad is responding the way the iranian people want him to respond? what do you think? >> it is very difficult to say. since the election here, the country has been in turmoil. you have different factions. you have people that respond saying that he is doing the right thing. he is being a nationalist. and you have other people saying, he should be, should take a softer approach with western powers and make some sort of a deal to smooth over the situation here. so there is a did you have i'd in the country as to his
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approach in the situation. >> do the iranians feel like they have any allies at this point with these new developments? because we've seen the russians today come out with a statement, the chinese are also talking to the united states about the situation. it seems like most of the nations are lining up in support of what president obama has said. >> that's right. traditionally, the iranians have relied on the support of russia and china to veto sanctions and that has given them a great deal of confidence. as we see now, the russians seem to have made a u-turn. the chinese are ebbing and flowing. so there is a cause of concern for the iranians. their two traditional allies are now turning against them and taking a much harsher tone so this will add a lot more pressure on the iranian administration. >> tehran bureau chief, nbc news, i appreciate your time on this vital story. thanks so much.
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will sanctions be enough to stop iran from developing nuclear weapons? that's the big question. or is the regime in tehran determined to thumb its nose at the international community? joining us now from the white house is nbc sa an a guthrie. also with us, the investigative reporter for "newsweek." savannah, this has been a big day for the white house because obviously, the president has been cast on to the national scene when he came, the international scene when he came out today and spoke with the prime minister of great britain and the president of france, mr. sarkozy. this really put the president for the first time on a new platform internationally since etaken over as president of the university. how does the white house feel he did today? >> well, it they feel very good that their work to build an international consensus, to really put pressure on iran is bearing fruit. this goes back to this sum where
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the u.s., along the w the u.k. and france, adopt the iaea, the atomic agency, the regulators, to show them what they have learned. what they have known for years about this facility at quom. but at the moment that iran learned the secrecy of their facility had been compromised, they decided to do what some people considered to be a fake disclosure themselves sent the letter to the iaea. it was vague, nonspecific. they didn't want iran to be able to say we disclosed. so it was a race against time them decided to go public with this. they are very happy with the way that has shaken out over the last few hours. they've obviously briefed allies. they've briefed the countries that will be involved in the p-5 plus one talks, including russia and china. they're pleased with russia's response. to the extent that this engagement process is going forward, but that they are moving this dual track that may
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lead to sanctions. i think they feel very good about going into these meetings next week in a place of strength and really being able to pressure rapp to come clean with the international community. >> and the line in the sand comment given by the prime minister of great britain seems to be the toughest language that was used today when the three, the leaders of the countries came out and spoke to the world on this. was that planned as to who was actually going to be saying that? in this case, does the white house have anything to say about that? why didn't president obama say that? >> well, as i understand it, the way these things go, the u.s. is speaking for all three countries and sort of laying out the case. so you did hear more measured diplo speak out of obama when sarkozy and gordon brown got up, they were able to express more of the outrage and they did so. so i think that was just a function of the way these things work. the u.s. is laying out the policy, laying out the steps that should be taken.
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and then i think in some ways, it is a matter of tone and substance. the president is really not one to pound his fist on the table. it doesn't really go with his character. so it did really seem to fall to sarkozy and brown. >> as i said, mark, there is a lot of speculation in the international community that obviously, the white house knew that this was in existence for some time. doubt that this had anything to do with the united states and president obama making the decision to move those short range missiles out of the area to get them on board, to make sure they would take a strong stance against ahmadinejad and the iranians because of this facility? >> well, i think it is partly that. the fact is the u.s. military is on the record in congressional testimony and it is elsewhere saying they would love to have some radar in russia.
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russia has already built some radar in the south of russia. the u.s. would love to have access to those radars to be able to monitor iranian missile launches in the event that the iranians tray to put this on the missiles. also, it is pretty clear the united states would like russian cooperation in putting pressure on rairan to abandon or curb th. so i think the administration is trying to ingratiate itself with russia or do russia favors in the hope russia will return the favor. >> and where does the united states go from here, mark? you look at how we have not had diplomatic relations with them for some 30 years. would this be the time for, or doubt the white house has any plans to speed up the time able to get some kind of diplomatic relations? or will the obama administration maintain its distance the way it has been in the past? >> they're going into the meetings with iran. i think they want to see what
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kind of response they get from the iranians to all these issues. it is up to the iranians to decide how far they want to go to appear to accommodate the united states. i think there is very heavy ske skepticism that they are really serious about the key issues, particularly about scaling back their nuclear program. so there will be a high bar for the iranians to cross to convince the west and the united states that they are concerned about lowering tensions. by the same token, i think the united states and the allies know the political situation is in flux and they don't want to do anything that would help the people that i think we regard as bad guys, and hurt the people that we regard as good guys. for example, by being too fresh at this point, too strong in knocking back people like ahmadinejad. because ahmadinejad will just
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claim, it is a plot by the west which is what he and his friends have claimed, to get him. so there is a very delicate balancing act that the administration, the united states and its allies are engaged in at the moment. and it they're going to fatigue kind of slowly. the fact that sarkozy has already slipped a deadline from next week, originally they were talking about a deadline of iranian response of october 1 now. sarkozy has, as you reported earlier, slipped that dead lane to the end of the world. that doesn't surprise me. there will be a certain amount, at least in the first instance, stalling for time. >> reporter mike rosenball from "newsweek" and also, savannah guthrie in pittsburgh, covering the g-20. i want all of you to stand by. still ahead, we've got republican strategist pat buchanan, and also we are waiting, of course, for the press conference. president obama will address reporters at the g-20 summit in pittsburgh. stay with us. ♪ well i was shopping for a new car, ♪ ♪ which one's me - a cool convertible or an suv? ♪
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analyst pat buchanan. pat, i want to start with you. the israeli reaction to. this they have to feel vindicated now that you have the united states, great britain and france, along with germany today, although merkel wasn't there. she was list as being on board with the united states. this has to vindicate in many respects what the israelis have been saying all along. your thoughts? >> if true, it certainly does. no doubting it. the united states is saying this is not simply an enrichment facility to enrich uranium up to the 5% you can use for a nuclear power plant, but it is a facility that can take the enrichment up to 90%. the only purpose for which is an explosive device. the israelis have been saying that. however, our own national intelligence estimate of 2007 said iran had canceled, or with high confidence, hit ended its nuclear weapons program. and yet we've known about this for several years.
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if this is a plant that can do weapons grade uranium, then the ayatollah khomeini himself, he himself would be revealed as something of a liar, as he said his country religiously has ruled out the idea of developing or producing these terrible weapons. this is very serious stuff. your basic point is correct. if this is true, that it is weapons grade, the israelis have been right. >> and more on that, the fact is that this man we're looking at right now has made some pretty inflammatory statements about the israelis that i would think would put them even more on edge. now that they have got countries around the world who are really on board verifying this with them, what do you think the next move is? i mean, sanctions in the past haven't done much to the iranians. how much closer are we to possibly telling them, look, if you don't shut this thing down, we're going to take it out. are we in that neighborhood yet?
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>> i don't think we're in that neighborhood yet, ed, because the president, as i understand, getting the russians on board interesting europeans together and hopefully bringing the chinese on board for sanctions. we've already kicked the dead lane down to december 31st. quite obviously, this plant is not operational or near operational, and so that's why you can do it. i do think this, ed. with the problems in iraq now, and with the terrible decision facing the president in afghanistan, he desperately does not want another war. and a strike on this plant and the other plants would, i think, get the united states in a third war in the middle east he does not want. so i think the military options on the table, but i think it is many months down the road. >> savannah guthrie, back in washington, d.c. having business this week in pittsburgh where the g-20 summit is taking place. this kind of waters down pretty much what many people expected
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to be a very important conference. this is stealing the headlines and stealing the conversation right now. how much can we expect to get out of the g-20 now that these developments have taken place with the iranians? >> there is no question this story is sucking up all the air in terms of headlines and news media coverage. the work of the g-20 still tipped today. the issue really presented there had to do with the economy. financial regulation, europe in particular, pressing the united states to move ahead with tough financial regulation. there is some disagreement over executive issues. let's face it. about some of these summits, the more than likely course is that never come out with some pretty broad statements that everybody can agree with and it is really what happens after that in the coming months where the rubber meets the road and the work gets done. so yes, in terms of a news story interesting g-20 slips into the backgrou
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background. but whatever results will still come out, of course. >> we're awaiting the president of the united states. at the g-twirk he will be focusing on this iranian situation. mark, this is now really putting the president under the international microscope. people will be weighing every word he absolutely says. how careful does the president have to be with this delicate information that is being released? and of course, making sure that the coalition stays together on this and stays on the same page? it would seem to me the president would be very guarded in his remarks in this press conference. >> it seem to me one of the characteristics of president obama's presidency is caution. i don't think he will have trouble being cautious about this particular issue. he seems to be cautious about everything. that seems to be the key stone to his presidency at this point. caution in everything. moderation in everything. i'm sure he'll be pretty careful. >> i think the president will
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have to give some news of progress at the g-20 as well. i know that labor in this country certainly wants to herat. mark rosenball and pat buchanan, stay with us. we're waiting for the president to step to the podium in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. announcer: trying to be good to your heart? so is campbell's healthy request soup. low in fat and cholesterol, heart healthy levels of sodium, and taste you'll love. chef: we're all kind of excited about it. guy: mmm! i can see why. announcer: campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good! for your heart. your hair mixes with pollen and dust in the air. i get congested. my eyes itch. i have to banish you to the garden. but now with zyrtec-d®,
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welcome back to our coverage here on msnbc. breaking news, the president of the united states will be holing a press conference at the g-20 summit in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, momentarily. we will be carrying that live on
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msnbc. in the meantime, on the phone we've got nbc political director chuck todd who is at the press conference in pittsburgh. chuck, i'm a little confused on this. was this press conference originally scheduled? or all the developments with the iranians today has pushed there forward? what is that situation? >> this was always a planned press conference. all of the world leaders that show up for these g-20s, g-8s, you name them. they all do a press conference at the close with their own press. sarkozy from france just got finished with one. gordon brown, and they do it at all of these. this was always planned. the big unplanned news of the day was what happened this morning. by if way, a little update, we're now hearing it might be at least until 5:15 eastern before this press conference gets started. the president has a little down time in his hotel room and he is meeting with pittsburgh native and ambassador to ireland and pittsburgh steelers owner.
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>> all right. chuck, how does the white house feel it navigated through all of this today? the g-20 summit, you and i talked about health care and everything else. there is so much more on the plate in the month of september. the president wanted to have some good progress and a good showing at this g-20. do they feel like they've accomplished that? will this be a productive week for the white house? >> look, i think clearly, iran was everything that he was doing, behind the scenes all week. we're now learning what this week was about. it was about iran. we would see publicly different things going on at the u.n. general assembly. obviously, it was planning to go on the g-20 which was mostly about economic issues, including when to start pulling back the government intervention, all those thing. but iran, when he had his private meetings with the president of china, iran was the entire topic of conversation we're now learning.
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with dmitry medvedev of russia, iran was the dominating issue inside their private conversations. all of these things led to this moment. now we're learning this time line. it all started because u.s., british, and french intelligence official got wind that iran was going to try to vaguely admit that they had something going on of a nuclear, of a second nuclear capacity of trying to make some uranium and they were going to try to circumvent the u.s. on this. and that is why the united states and great britain and france decided to move up this process. go public with it and see if they could put some extra pressure on iran next week. >> nbc political director chuck todd with us on the phone with us from pittsburgh. we're awaiting the president. he will be holding a press conference. we're now told it will be 15 after the hour, 5:15 eastern
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time, when the president is expected to go to the podium. you're seeing that live now. we'll cover it here. this is the reaction of iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad. after the news was reveal to the world today that they have a nuclear facility that they've been working on, suspected for military purposes. he says his country is not breaking any rules or laws. >> translator: iran must do so and so. iran must do this and that. we're saying what business is it of yours is it to tell us what to do or not? you're just another country, a member state of the iaea like any other one. >> msnbc political analyst pat buchanan, pat, i would like to get your reaction to that. was that pretty predictable by ahmadinejad? what do you think? >> he was predictable but it
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will be totally insufficient for this reason. ed, the iranian people are united behind iran becoming a peaceful nuclear power, enjoying all its rights under the nonproliferation treaty. the right to enrich uranium, the right to power plants. the country is united behind that. but it has insist asked the ayatollah has insisted that ahmadinejad has insisted, they are not trying to produce nuclear weapons. and iranians are not united on whether they should have nuclear weapons. a lot of them don't want them. so what will happen now, ahmadinejad and the ayatollah are going to have to explain convincingly to their people that the western countries and the united states are lying, that this plant is not military, not weapons grade. >> thanks, pat. we're waiting for president obama's news conference from the g-20 summit in pittsburgh. up next, "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now here on msnbc.
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iran's secret underground nuke site. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm mike barnicle in for chris matthews. caught red handed. iran admitted to building the second secret underground plant to enrich uranium and president obama demanded they open nuclear sites for inspect or be held accountable. we are awaiting president obama's press conference at the g-20 sum in pittsburgh. nbc news white house correspondent chuck todd will break down what this disclosure mean for the president a week before the six-nation talks with iran are set to begin. plus, why are democrats seeing a significant drop in fundraising and how can they convince big donors to open up their checkbooks ahead of the 2010
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mid-term elections? and remember the conservative outcia. over president obama's back to school speech a couple weeks ago? a student performance at a new jersey public elementary school is now drawing fire from some conservative critics. check it out. >> the concern is that they were attempting to indoctrinate the students. also, "meet the press" moderator david gregly will review his interview with bill clinton. and finally, rod blagojevich just can't help himself on his never-ending media tour. he claim he is the anti-nixon. we'll have more of what he said in the side show. we begin with the secret underground nuclear facility and president obama's response. nbc news white house correspondent and

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